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My Hot Trip to Queensland.

My Hot Trip to Queensland.

I have lived on the Gold Coast for 2 years and I got to know the place more intimately. It's not just the seedy Cavill Ave which only awakens at night and sleeps in the day; or the bikies causing havoc over their imported businesses (yeah right); but watching the place grow up from a small city into a modern, high rising city, catering for everyone from locals to travellers.

When I moved back to Sydney, I knew I would visit the Goldie regularly as my parents stayed on to retire. I didn't think I'd miss this place until my parents moved to Maryborough, 335 km or 4 hours drive north from the Goldie.
I was a little disappointed they moved (again! my parents have the 7-10 year moving itch) to a town further away. No more cheap flights tickets to GC throughout the year. So I'm being a little selfish because my parents moved into a an old Queenslander home with a big yard and walking distance to the shops, RSL and aquatic centre, compared to a little villa not close to the shops and having to pay $$ to body corp. I guess I will miss the last minute plans to jump in a plane and see my mum. Oh boo hoo me!

Now I have heard of the World Hertiage listed Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island a place you can 4WD and camp or stay in a cottage or resort. An ideal place for everyone's budget. Hervey Bay is where you launch off to the beautiful island or go whale watching (mid-July to mid-November).
Because of the lack of time over Christmas and the summer heat (and the fact I'm pregnant and can't tolerate 30*c plus humidity), we didn't visit Hervey Bay or Fraser Island... yet! This is on our list to visit this year.

The best flights for a family is direct. With a 31/2-year-old in tow with very little patience, we didn't want to stop over in Brisbane. Perhaps with better planning and the silly season over, we will stop in Brisvegas to see friends and sights of this city for an overnight stay.
After 1 hour and 40 minutes, we arrived on Hervey Bay turf and it was hot! Like you can cook an egg on the tarmac hot or hot like watching Magic Mike hot. It took a 30 minutes to shuttle bus it to Maryborough. Ah bless the A/C. Driving through the town was really lovely. I never knew the town has so much history with old homes and buildings to match. More facts and info later.

Enjoying the inflight entertainment

Above: Miss Cheeky enjoying the inflight entertainment. How cold is it onboard!

Below: On the day of our arrival, my parents booked us on a Christmas lights bus tour. We got to meet some of the home owners who offered us food and treats. Great way to start our Christmas break.

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Below: We stopped by a Vintage Christmas exhibition showcasing these beauties. Mince pies and homemade lemon aid was served free!

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My dad still uses his 1 tonne sewing machine.

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Christmas morning with two of my favourite people. Sitting in the coolest part of the house. The heat was overwhelming, I waddled around with heavy, swollen feet with my mouth open like a bird. Elsa dolls were sold out so Cinderella saved Christmas. Phew!

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Christmas Day. Miss Cheeky working hard for a bit of water fun.

Below: Boxing Day at the Maryborough aquatic centre. Dad slip, slop and a slapping, no wonder she hates sunscreen on her face. For me passionfruit slurpies while sitting in the kiddy's pool was the best mix to cool down a pregnant gal.

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Our proudest moment, Miss Cheeky swimming underwater. Here she is commanding dad to go further back.

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Practicing her vertical diving or walking on water!

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One proud mama. I learned to swim alone when I was 8! My parents aren't strong swimmers and I never knew any of my friends back in the 80's who took swimming lessons.

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Below: Second last day of our holiday, we took a visit to the City Hall to see the Explore-a-saurus. We enjoyed it more than the Dino exhibition at Sydney museum.

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No queues and no big crowds here. We loved the camouflage photo set, maybe I enjoyed it more than everyone. As for the exhibition, we were very impressed, it's on until April 2105.

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Shhh! Where did they go?

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An activity room for kids and 3 year olds crafting out Dino masks.

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O.k my last camo shot. Born to be wild.

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Our last day amongst family. Miss Cheeky took this photo just as the shuttle bus arrived.

2 Facts and website info on Maryborough:

1) This is the best one, did you know Mary Poppins creator Pamela Lyndon Travers was born in an existing building in Maryborough in 1899? To get to know more on Pamela, you must watch Disney's Saving Mr Banks. I saw the movie in cinema last year and I loved it. You will see Mary Poppins in a different light.

2) Brisbane beat Maryborough to become capital city of Queensland. During the 1800's Maryborough was a port of entry to immigrants arriving as the city sits on the Mary River.

More info on where to stay, what to do (so much to do!) check it out here

To finish up on my trip : 6 days wasn't enough but I'm lucky to be able to go back and visit my parents. My hot trip to Queensland was worth it and I'm excited to discover more of this historical city in the near future and visit my lovely parents again; I'm hoping this is their last move.
Lastly, I want to send my thoughts out to people in South Adelaide who are going through such hardship from the bush fires. I will donate to help out those in need and who lost everything. If you like to donate please click here

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Creative Baby Announcements

Creative baby announcements by Adore Re Mi

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When I was pregnant with my first child, I decided on a easy and most popular way to announce my exciting news. I uploaded my baby scan picture, added a few words like 'yes this is mine/ours!' and press post. And like every mum the thrill of sharing the news to your family and friends is heart warming.

3 years later and I am pregnant with my second. I didn't want to announce my baby news until I was in my second trimester, I felt it was the safest time to tell the news. It took me a while to accept my second pregnancy as I had a rough start to the year having 2 miscarriages (I will write my personal story to share with you soon). When my bump started showing, I began to feel more connected, excited and creative again.

So once my happy vibe slowly came back, I wanted to do a creative baby announcement to share with all my friends and family, using my 'big girl' daughter as the announcer. And here is the result:

baby announcementMy daughter isn't a camera poser and when she is, my camera goes crazy, snapping away at her. During the day at Sculpture by the Sea, I took advantage, taking photos of Miss 3 and hoped one of the pictures can be used as the one. And to my surprise, this photo looked super hero-ish.

Luckily Picmonkey- a great site to jazz up your photos, designs, invitations etc, had a superhero theme and I played with the theme until I was happy.

So I got myself thinking what other baby announcements can be created without spending a cent and look over flashy. Personally I like the modern, fresh, not too busy designs where the photo tells the story like this one and that one.

So I stayed on Picmonkey a little longer and designed the following, NOT to sell but to give you some ideas and inspirations using emotions like adoration/love; amazement; acceptance; unhappiness/non-accepting. Guess which emotion fits to each photo...

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And lastly, when the baby arrives and you want to do something different, baby shoes are the way to go to melt EVERYONE's hearts, like fluffy cute animals.baby announcement 4

 

I've kept all photos basic and simple, a starting point to create your own. Have fun or suggest this post to a friend or family who is stuck for ideas... blog signature

Sculpture By The Sea

This weekend is the last of Sculpture By The Sea. I went with my husband and Miss 3 who enjoyed it the most, it's a great place to go with your kids who got a better understanding of the artwork than we do.

The highlight was walking along the Bronte to Bondi coastal walk with spectular views of the ocean. Each beach has a kiosk, sausage sizzle, toilets and free water. For the kids, playground and ice-cream. The downfall was the crowds, because we had Miss 3 walk her slow pace my husband carried her on her shoulders most of the way. She always insisted to get down to look at the artworks and explore the area so it's stop and go along the way. I recommend to leave the pram/stroller in your car if you possibly can or if you do bring it make sure it's easy to fold or carry as there are lots of stairs to climb.

The best advice? Park you car in Bondi Junction and catch the bus in. More info here. We drove in believing we WILL find parking and ended up parking 15min away from Bronte beach park. The walk was beautiful going through a public pathway with a creek running through it; discovering parts of Sydney is always the best. Tamarama beach was the next stop and it's the best place for the kids, just make sure you wear sunscreen and a hat. Forgotten your sunscreen? The surf club supplies it with a coin donation. We finished up at Mark's Park, Bondi and thought doing the walk from Bronte to Bondi (click here for info) was the best choice as the reward was at Mark's Park- Sugar Cane juice on a hot day, so refreshing!

We were exhausted from the heat of the sun which is why it's best to go in early or later in the afternoon. The best part going in the afternoon, if you stay until twilight not only do you get the amazing sunset golden hour, you also get to see some of the sculptures lit up for night time and the crowd lessens. No kids? Bondi has great restaurants and bars to check out.

Adore Re MiBronte Beach, Sydney, Australia. We started our walk from here.

Adore Re MiTamarama Beach, where the fun begins. Sculptures are on the beach and grass area and continues after the surf club. Don't forget to buy a catalogue.

Adore Re MiAndrew Hankin, We're fryin' out here

Adore Re MiDistant photo of Alejandro Propato, Permanent sunrise.

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Adore Re MiMikaela Castledine, Gift of the rhino.

Adore Re MiGeoffery Drake-Brockman, Counter. My husband making his entry through the counter. Miss 3 was only interested with  her paper cups.

Adore Re MiThe iconic Tamarama surf club still looking good. We ate our sausage sizzle here before we marched on..

Adore Re MiMy favourite sculpture by Koichi Ishino, Wind stone- the threshold of consciousness.

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Adore Re MiA children's favourite, L. Matthews in collaboration with Carterwilliamson, Coast totem.

Adore Re MiWang Shugang, Men playing with birds (2012)

Adore Re MiAnother beauty, Harrie Fasher, Which way forwards? Close-up of the head.

Adore Re MiAs we entered Mark's Park, Bondi we saw this amazing structure. Cave Urban, Save our souls. Side view.

Adore Re Mi Worm view inside, Save our souls.

Adore Re MiThe crowd's favourite- Michael Greve, Breaching (2004). Made out of red gum.

Adore Re MiKens Unsworth AM, My house is your home. Out of reach from the kids.

Adore Re MiCoffee break? The Grounds by the Sea. The queue was too long for us so we had...
Adore Re Mi... sugar cane juice with pineapple, our perfect reward after a bathroom break!

 

So don't forget this weekend, 9th November is the last weekend, a great way to see Sydney.

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Making new friends

"Always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren't having a full-on nervous breakdown- you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit." Caitlin Moran.

That was exactly I felt, nervous with excitement. You live a life in a comfortable bubble with your family and friends and sometimes you need to shake things up a bit and a blog is what I started. Some jump in and swim, other's like me dip the toes in slowly until I was used of the water. Scary cat you said?

 

Joining up a blog school.

The Clever Cookie blog school

This year I joined The Clever Cookie School of Blog. I wasn't expecting such a wonderful community of supportive and encouraging women and men, lead by our inspiring and loveliest mentors Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim and professional photographer Rowe Timson. It was 4 weeks of blogging, learning all about the blog world with great advice from our teachers/mentors and the best part was and still is the constant flow from the students- our blog community. Chantelle and Rowe gave us so much of their time and advice, answering all questions which is amazing considering our blog class is big! It felt personal and welcoming, as it got closer to the end of the 4th week, we started to feel sad and wanted more!

In the end of the course I completed so much within the month. I added more life and detail to my blog and started to post more (not so much during the month of our course) but post-course and keeping up with the community has been lovely. Thank you Chantelle and Rowe, you girls did amazing for a first timer for blog school!

Hooray!

 

The Sydney Clever Cookie Graduation High Noon Tea. 

It was during the course Sam with the help of Lisa, suggested a Sydney graduation event, at The Victorian Room in the QVB. An opportunity to get to meet the local students, mingling with bloggers alike. A lovely way to conclude our course.

As I travelled on the bus to the city, my nerves were trying to overcome my body and I know this feeling too well, anxiety. I kept calm and told myself it's only 2 hrs. This was a big goal for me, attending an event alone and meet a group of strangers (who aren't really). I felt this was something I couldn't miss out. My problem isn't that I'm an introvert but how the anxiety attacks my body and mind to stop me from socialising, conversing naturally with others. I didn't want to be a zombie like guest.

When I arrived, I waited to be seated. The waitress replied with a smile 'oh yes the big group with the gifts' directing me to the table.

As soon as I saw the faces, I relaxed. At first I may have come across as an extrovert, the nerves always make me talk more but after the introduction, I exhaled and realise it was going to be alright.  Everyone is so lovely and approachable and we talked non-stop, mincing words with the delicious food when the 2 hrs was nearly up. No! Too soon, we were warming up, making new friends; perhaps that's the reason we were given a glass of bubbles. We exchanged our gifts, lots of excitement and joy receiving notebooks, journals etc to get more inspired to write. Thanks to Lisa for the great gift exchange idea.

Overall, the morning went wonderfully well and all of us are looking forward to our next get together with new faces to meet from the girls who couldn't make it.

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As we sat down, we were greeted with this delicious gift by Sam. Sam's delicious caramel fudge recipe is found here.

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Delicious sweet treats...

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...all served with a glass of bubbles and pots of hot brewed tea with scones and finger sandwiches.

The girls.

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The lovely Shannon, Lisa (who organised the bookings and Happy birthday for the day too!) and Stephanie.

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Sneaky photo of Sam taking a pic.

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The lovely Stephanie, Kirralee and Di.

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The lovely Sam who thought of the idea of meeting up and Chris who made us lol (photo courtsey of Sam)

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Lovely Michelle and Jackie.

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Jackie's little lady joining the girl's group.

Clever Cookie Sydney graduatesThe first Sydney Clever Cookie Blog School graduates of 2014. (I'm the one sitting in the front and the lovely girl next to me is Vivien.)

Please hover and click over the names of the girls to check out their amazing blogs.

My photography course: part one

My wonderful friends bought me an online photography course for my birthday last year in 2013. I was so taken aback by their thoughtfulness  that I walked around looking at the world from a different view, seeing so much beauty even in the darkest corners.

I only began this course last month due to some personal turmoil I had experienced this year and I am glad I waited for the right time, (I will share it to you in another post about being grateful.) The online course is called Ultimate Photography and it suits me fine. I can work in my own time and pace (normally when Miss Cheeky is asleep or at daycare). Luckily I am an night owl and while the night is still young, I work away on my course and get to drink my entire cup of tea (a luxury when you have kids in your life). It is early days and I will keep you up to date with my progress on this course.

 

BEFORE PHOTOS:

The photos I took below are from my CANON EOS 450D with a 18-55mm lens and iPhone 4S. Examples of my 'before' pictures to compare with my later photographs as I learn more about the camera (to use manual and not auto, although my favourite setting is macro.) Secretly, I am hoping my darling husband will buy me a wide lens for my birthday next month.

4texture via adore re mi

Taken at my husband's factory.

gingercat via adore re mi

Passing by in Newtown when I saw this cat which matched its interior very nicely.

happy via adore re mi

Pierre via adore re mi

The late Pierre, king of the castle.

street art, sydney via adore re mi

Love those lane ways. Never know what creations you find. That man in the foreground is my husband, my bodyguard.

under Manly boardwalk via adore re mi

Under the boardwalk. Bette Midler was here.

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My favourite pic, 4 blue squares of reflection.

I want to thank you girls for getting me motivated again and bringing out the beauty that surrounds us. Part two will be about my progression of the course.

Adore Re